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Last week, Darren Waller went completely off against the Packers in a losing effort. Eric Ebron also surprised me in producing against a Texans’ defense that looked strong against tight ends. I will be going over my starts and sits for Week 8, looking at each matchup and at how each player has played up to this point.
Opponent: Arizona Cardinals
Jared Cook has the best tight end matchup there is. The Cardinals have been, by far, the worst defense against tight ends, allowing 82 yards per game and 7 total touchdowns which is most in the NFL by 3. Cook missed Week 7 and is questionable for Week 8 but if he plays, he is set up for a big game. If he is listed as out, go with Josh Hill.
Opponent: Seattle Seahawks
Austin Hooper has been the biggest fantasy tight end of the year so far and he added to that last week with another touchdown against the Rams. This week he faces the Seahawks who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight end this year. A tight end who gets used as much as Hooper will be able to exploit this type of defense. I would expect Hooper to get closer to the 100-yard mark this week with maybe even another touchdown.
Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Delanie Walker sat out last week with an ankle injury. If he is probably able to heal, the Buccaneers serve as a great opponent to put up huge numbers against. The Bucs have allowed the most receiving yards in the league and have averaged 82.8 yards per game to tight ends. Walker may have a more limited role if he does play, but this matchup is too nice to leave him on the bench if he plays. But if Walker has to sit out, his backup, Jonnu Smith, would be an excellent pick to start.
Opponent: Oakland Raiders
Darren Fells has had a mix of up and down weeks. His main value comes from scoring touchdowns. The Raiders have allowed the second-most touchdowns to tight ends with four this season. They also have allowed 61.5 yards per game which is not impossible for Fells to hit. With the high possibility of a touchdown, Fells is starting material for me. As the Texans never play the Cardinals, this is one of the best weeks to play Fells.
Opponent: San Francisco 49ers
Besides his two big games against the Cardinals and Buccaneers in Weeks 2 and 3, Greg Olsen hasn’t been very productive. The Panthers are coming off their bye into a difficult 49ers matchup. The 49ers have had the best pass defense in the NFL which shows in their numbers against tight ends. Tight ends have averaged just 40.4 yards per game with one total touchdown. This does not serve well as a good matchup for Olsen.
Opponent: Tennessee Titans
O.J. Howard has continued to disappoint every week this season. His season-high was his Week 3 performance where he had 3 receptions for 66 yards and has failed to come close to that total since. He has never found the endzone which puts a huge damper on the numbers he has put up. I’m at the point in the season where Howard is not someone I’d even pick up off waivers from how poor the Buccaneers have utilized him.
Opponent: New York Giants
T.J. Hockenson played a huge trick on everyone Week 1 where he put up insane numbers for a rookie tight end. Since then, he has played nowhere near that kind of performance and has dealt through a head injury. The Giants have surprisingly not allowed much of anything to tight ends this season with just 55 yards per game. I would wait for Hockenson to prove himself again before starting him.
Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Dallas Goedert is the second tight end option for the Eagles but has played very well this season nonetheless. Last week he had 69 yards and a touchdown on 4 receptions. This week will likely be a heat check for Goedert as the Bills have allowed the second-least amount of yards to tight ends per game with just 36.2. They also have not allowed a touchdown which makes Goedert’s role almost insignificant this week.
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